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    Wisdom Tooth: Too wise for wisdom

     Wisdom Tooth: Too wise for wisdom

    By Dr Tahir

    Early recognition of the trouble would save a day of pain in future

    There are myths and mysteries, apprehensions and fears of all 

    sorts associated with our third 

    molar tooth and in due course 

    of my oral surgery practice 

    I have come to terms with such 

    myths. Most of the people co-relating 

    eruption of third molar with advent 

    of wisdom, while few are religiously 

    following that removing it would 

    make them blind. However, neither 

    the myths are to be believed nor does 

    is make us wise.

    If one examined the oral cavity, 

    one would fi nd different types of 

    teeth, ascribed with various func-

    tions. These all show a characteristic eruption pattern and any impediment of any sort would 

    make eruption pattern erroneous. 

    The third molar is one such tooth 

    of our oral cavity that has lost its 

    eruption path due to many reasons 

    pertaining to change of diet, phy-

    logeny, growth pattern etc.

    And prevalence of this tooth 

    to remain within the bone has 

    increased over the years. The fre-quency of occurrence is generally 

    16.7 to 68 % as documented. 

    Thus, it becomes imperative 

    that early examination and detec-tion of third molar would prevent 

    troubles and complications.

    This article will mainly discuss various problems/myths/fears 

    associated with third molar that 

    render people to delay its removal 

    and eventually land them into complications.

    Firstly, removal of impacted 

    third molar is not like removing 

    any other decayed tooth. It’s relatively a minor surgical procedure 

    and more so need based surgery, 

    so prophylactic handling of third 

    molar removal becomes essential 

    and it has to be based on rationale, 

    proper diagnosis and robust treat-

    ment plan. 

    Oral and maxillo facial sur-

    geons are equipped with proper 

    evaluation, and they need to weigh 

    risks and complications to the benefi ts over the long run.

    AAOMS, American association 

    of oral and maxillo facial surgeons 

    are of the opinion that about 85% 

    of third molar will eventually 

    need to be removed, either by late 

    adolescence or early adulthood 

    in order to prevent complication 

    associated with it in future.

    Problems of pain and infection, 

    cysts and tumours associated with 

    un-erupted third molar are well 

    documented and nothing new in 

    our daily clinical practice as oral 


    Third molars thatdevelop any 

    symptoms or show any  pathology 

    related to its growth and eruption 

    need immediate treatment under 

    specialized oral maxillo facial surgeons.

    Oral surgeons evaluate such 

    patients based on x-ray imaging, 

    intra oral examination and take 

    measures to remove such symptomatic third molars much painlessly with little or no post operative complications.

    However, irony of the fact is 

    that due to unawareness among 

    the people, myths and fears and 

    unethical practices by dental 

    quacks, people not only are sceptical about its removal but also 

    avoid treatment till it becomes 

    grossly complicated.

    Unfortunately people of our 

    valley have adapted poor sense of 

    understanding regarding removal 

    of third molars, like 

     removal of this tooth would lead 

    them to loss of wisdom 

     make them blind 

     they may lose their sense of 


     even make them deaf.

    Whatever the myths, there is 

    no data or any empirical evidence 

    associated with any such claim, 

    though temporary complications 

    and risks with any surgical procedure can never be ruled out.

    With advancements in medical 

    sciences, removal of third molars 

    nowadays is considered minimally 

    invasive procedure and is painless, and patients are back to work 

    next day following precautions 

    and better post operative care.

    Surgically removal of third 

    molars is conducted only if 

     Insuffi cient space is available in 

    our jaw

     Cysts and tumours associated 

    with third molar

     Repeated infection and infl am-

    mation with the tooth

     It hinders the eruption of other 


     When one needs orthodontic 

    treatment to align the teeth.

    Thus early recognition that 

    third molar is troublesome at times 

    would save a day of pain in future. 

    Ignorance might not be bliss here.

    Dr Tahir is MDS oral maxilla facial Surgery.

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